Respiratory Care

The Profession

Our Field

Respiratory Therapists

  • Treat various types of patients that suffer with short-term, long-term, and emergency cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) issues like heart attacks, strokes, shock, and drowning.
  • Conduct diagnostic tests of patients' cardiopulmonary functions under a physician's directions.
  • Specialize in areas like neonatal care, pediatric care, adult critical care and cardiopulmonary diagnostics.
  • Work in hospitals, cardiopulmonary diagnostic labs, rehabilitation centers, and home care agencies.

Source: The World Needs More RTs

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. The 2023 BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook projected the median annual wage of Respiratory Therapists working in the U.S. as $77,960.

Site managed by the School of Health Professions • Last Updated: 18-JUL-2024